About Knee Ligament
A ligament is a short band of tough fibrous connective tissue composed mainly of long, stringy collagen molecules. Ligaments connect bones to other bones in and around joints. They do not connect muscles to bones; that is the function of tendons. Ligaments limit the amount of mobility of a joint, or prevent certain movements altogether.
What Causes Knee Ligament Injuries?
You can injure a ligament through a sharp change in direction, landing wrong from a jump, or the most common a blunt force hit to the knee, such as in football tackle. The incident usually needs to happen at speed. Muscle weakness or incoordination predispose you to a ligament sprain or tear.
1. ACL: Anterior Cruciate Ligament
2. PCL: Posterior Cruciate Ligament
3. MCL: Medial Collateral Ligament
4. LCL: Lateral Collateral Ligament
5. Coronary Ligament
Symptoms & Severity of Knee Ligament Injuries
The severity and symptoms of a ligament sprain depend on the degree of stretching or tearing of the ligament.
In a mild grade I sprain, the ligaments may stretch, but they don't actually tear. Although the joint may not hurt or swell very much, a mild sprain can increase the risk of a repeat injury.
With a moderate grade II sprain, the ligament tears partially. Swelling and bruising are common, and use of the joint is usually painful and difficult.
With a severe grade III sprain, your ligament tears completely, causing swelling and sometimes bleeding under the skin. As a result, the joint is unstable and unable to bear weight. Often there will be no pain following a grade 3 tear as all of the pain fibres are torn at the time of injury.